From the late great Monte Zucker, a master of portraiture, comes an extremely helpful article on his site about lighting called Take the Mystery out of Lighting. He was a master of it and in his words he explains in very helpful and clear writing exactly what a new photographer needs to hear.
His explanation is concise and it does away with the notion that lighting has to be something confusing and mysterious. For those willing to learn and try, it is actually quite simple. Good lighting however, that will be performed over and over and over correctly and without fail takes time and practice, but it can be mastered. Here are the fundementals.