Please check out JohnL3D's latest tutorial.
Its a great introduction to working with materials.
Turning a Cartoon Horse into a Zebra - A Materials Tutorial by JohnL3D
They'll be texturing models soon for 'Tin Woodsman of Oz'.
If you have information on Materials and Texturing (or want to learn more) please visit the Materials Forum. It's forum 46 on your A:M dial.