(5 customer reviews)


  • Artist – Natasha Ruschka
  • 13+ Hours of content
  • Lifetime Access/Downloadable Content
  • Private FB Community
  • Course Price – $129 USD
  • All Sales Final
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If You Love Pattern, and You Love Still Life, then Pattern Play with Natasha Ruschka is the Course For You!

Bring your love of patterns into your art by painting patterned fabric in still life. In “Pattern Play” Natasha Ruschka breaks down the process to help you understand the techniques and foundations before bringing it all together for some special final creations.  Learn everything you need to know, from which fabrics to choose, how to match them, the creation of compositions, and how to manipulate colour for depth and atmosphere. Natasha will guide you through the process of creating some of her favourite patterns and impart you with the skills and confidence to continue to paint patterns in the future.  This class is great for artists interested in a new look at still life and is also suitable for beginners with its easy-to-follow instructions. This class is originally created using oil paints, but the concepts and techniques translate easily to acrylic.


Pattern Play 03 Getting Started - Image 2


By the end of this course students will have an understanding of the following concepts:

  • Choose patterns that give the best results
  • Create still life compositions incorporating patterned fabric
  • Simplify value, colour and brushwork to create and unify a complicated painting subject
  • Paint light and value relationships
  • Use colour temperature and saturation to create atmosphere
  • Draw ellipses at different angles
  • Use linear perspective to show 3D depth on a 2D surface.
  • Follow a simple alla-prima oil painting process that is repeatable regardless of your subject.


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Cost - $129 USD


Lesson 1 is all about getting started!  We look at fabrics and how to select the right pattern for painting. We cover colour combinations and pattern size, how to match with other objects, and the challenging patterns to treat with caution. I will take you through my personal collection of fabrics (far too many) and show you some examples of them rendered into still life paintings.  I will show my process of creating compositions so you can create your own reference images for future paintings.

Pattern Play 03 Getting Started - Image 1
Pattern Play 03 Getting Started - Image 4

Lessons 2-4 cover fundamentals that will be needed later in the class, such as value and light, drawing for painting and creating atmosphere with colour.  Still life paintings take planning and consideration to ensure a successful outcome. Incorporating patterns is an added challenge. I show how to simplify values for a cleaner, less fussy image. We also focus on recreating what is happening with the light instead of painting what we think we see. You will learn my method for drawing ellipses, (those tricky shapes at the top of bowls and vases), and the importance of linear perspective for creating depth. These exercises will build the foundation for our final creations.

Pattern Play 04 DFP - Image 3
Pattern Play 05 VL - Image 4 - Finished Painting

Studies are a great place to practice fundamentals from the previous lessons before embarking on our final pieces.  In Lessons 5 and 6 I have composed two still life set ups, each with a different visual perspective, to practice the principals from the previous lessons using a simple limited palette.  We will use my favourite pink cherry blossoms fabric to explore light and shade in a “Flat Lay” perspective with folds.  The Study “Side View with Checked Pattern” looks deceivingly simple, but there are some tricks to getting those checks to look good. I walk you through navigating the linear perspective of checked fabric, dealing with the multiple colours for light, shade and atmosphere all while keeping our brushwork loose and avoiding overworking our painting.   This piece also includes a favourite subject of mine, a pear, which is a great way to start incorporating still life objects.

Pattern Play 06 CFA - Image 6
Pattern Play 08 Study - SVCF - Image 2
Pattern Play 07 Study - FLWF - Image 3

Finally, in lessons 7 and 8 we will bring it altogether as we create two still life compositions with all the elements practiced previously such as ellipses, linear perspective, multicoloured patterns, temperature and value adjustments and loose fresh brushwork.  They are small pieces but don’t misjudge them – there is a lot going on and they will reward your effort in the end. They are happy expressions of colour and light that are crafted through my methodical and careful process that controls the pace that the elements evolve at to keep everything simple and manageable.

Pattern Play Apples
Pattern Play 10 PPO - Image 6 - Final Image


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Cost - $129 USD


Pattern Play 01 Welcome and Intro

Hi, I’m Natasha and I’m a Brisbane Australia based artist who creates colorful and painterly oil paintings. My passion for oil painting started when I lived in Colorado and immersed myself in the Denver art community learning to paint oils in the "Alla Prima" (direct painting) style. I love the buttery texture of oils and enjoy the process of mixing colours in this tactile medium. Painting wet on wet is how I produce fresh, loose and visible brush strokes that give my paintings a playful energy.

I enjoy transforming simple life subjects into colourful scenes that are bright and happy and capture on canvas the often missed beauty around us. Taking a simple object like a piece of fruit, a flower or a tea cup, and transforming it into a beautiful and interesting vignette with only oil paints feels like my very own superpower. Since returning to Australia the native flora and fauna of my homeland has been inspiring my work. I enjoy creating large expressive florals, light infused still life scenes and loose painterly landscapes.

I teach a weekly class in my local community which is the highlight of my week. I absolutely love to see my student’s confidence grow while they learn and have fun painting in my classes. I believe anyone can paint, and everyone has their own unique style waiting to be expressed on a canvas. I am thrilled to be able to share my joy of painting with you now through Kara Bullocks’s online school.


This course will have a private Facebook group just for you!  The artist will be actively involved with the class via Facebook the first four weeks the course is open!  After that the course will be a self-study.  The artist may or may not be involved after the four weeks.  We are looking forward to seeing your artwork!


Below is a list of the supplies that I will be using for the projects in this course.  However, you are always encouraged to use what you have on hand. 

Oil Paints

Listed are the colours I use in the lessons. I have provided some possible substitute colours in brackets.

• Transparent Red Oxide (or Burnt Umber or Burnt Sienna)
• Cadmium Red (or Cadmium Red Light or Napthol Red)
• Permanent Alizarin Crimson
(or Permanent Rose or Quinacridone Magenta)
• Cadmium Yellow (or Cadmium Yellow Deep or Cadmium Yellow Medium)
• Cadmium Yellow Light (or Lemon Yellow or Hansa Yellow)
• Phthalo Blue (or Prussian Blue)
• Ultramarine Blue
• Titanium White
• Zinc White (or Tinting White, Flake White, Mixing White)
• Naples Yellow

• Ivory Black (or other tube black)
If you don’t have black, you can mix ultramarine blue and transparent red oxide to create a black.


If you have already been painting for a while, use what you are used to. Make sure you have a variety of small, medium, and large.

Here is what I will be using:
1.5 inch flat for toning canvas and blocking in large background areas. You can get by without this – I just like it for covering large areas.

Most of the paintings were created with 2 x 1” Rosemary Ivory Angulars. This is just a brush I’ve started to enjoy but you don’t need to use this. A No. 12 synthetic bright, or short flat would work the same. I have two to save me washing out between colours, but you could get by with just one.

I also use….

No. 6 Synthetic Flat
No. 8 Synthetic Flat
No. 4 Bristle flat for edges


  • Exercises and Studies: For the exercises, I recommend painting on inexpensive panels or oil canvas paper. The sizes I used for each lesson are listed below. You could use a larger or smaller size in the same ration if you prefer.
    • Lesson 2 & 3 Drawing for Painting – 12 x 12 inch
    • Lesson 5 & 6 Studies – 10 x 12 inch
  • Still Life Paintings: For the final paintings I used a stretched canvas on timber frame. Use whatever surface you are comfortable with, but I recommend the same size or larger for the best results.
    • Lesson 7 - Pattern Play Apples – 12 x 12 inches
    • Lesson 8 - Pattern Play Oranges – 12 x 16 inches


  • Acrylic Gesso Primer
  • Large 2-inch paintbrush and small roller from the hardware store for painting Gesso on substrates. I like to give my surfaces an extra coat to increase the seal of the surface. I’ve included a short video showing how I prepare them.
  • Palette
    A palette for mixing oil paint – I’m using a paper palette pad.
    Metal Palette Knife for mixing paint.Solvent
  • Solvent for Cleaning brushes
    • I recommend you use an odourless mineral spirit like Gamsol. You will also need a2 x glass jars or containers for putting solvent in to clean brushes (like a recycled pasta sauce jar).
  • Medium
    • I used Gamblin Solvent Free Gel as a medium for these lessons. You could also use a separate small container of solvent as a medium. You only need to dip the corner of your brush in. A little bit goes a long way.
  • Rags or Paper Towel
    • Absorbent rags like old towels are great for absorbing any extra solvent left on your brush after cleaning.
    • Paper towels and rags are also useful for wiping brushes between colours.
  • Moist Wipes – I use these for a final clean up of my hands and surfaces after painting. They cut through the paint on my skin better than soap.


An excellent website for applying a grid to your photographs to assist with drawing is:
Divide it into 4 on each side and then do the same with your canvas


If you are using acrylic paint I recommend using a “slow dry” medium. There are many brands available. I have used Liquitex Slow Dri Gel which has worked well in the past. This will allow you to mix a colour and use it for a prolonged period without it drying too quickly.

I also recommend the following extra colours so you don’t have to mix them each time if they dry.

  • Orange (Cadmium Orange – or another generic orange)
  • Violet or Purple
  • Phthalo Green or a generic green


**Upon purchasing your course, you will be asked to create an account and go through the purchase process (even if the cost is $0 for a free course).  If you have already created an account, after purchase your course will IMMEDIATELY be available under “LOGIN” at the top right-hand of

**If your course does not show up, please email us at

**Due to the nature of the immediate availability of the course, all purchases are nonrefundable.

**Please talk to the artist of the course about his/her policy on selling artwork created in this course prior to selling any works created during course.  Some artists will allow it, while others do not.  Thank you for your support.

5 reviews for PATTERN PLAY

  1. Jennifer Serrano (verified owner)

    Wow, wow, wow, what a great class. Natasha really gives a gradual build up of exercises to help understand patterns, colors, values and the importance of each. I’m great at copying what I see in a picture, but Natasha explains WHY certain color shifts are so important to these paintings. Thank you so much for helping me understand WHY the correct colors are important, as well as how to achieve them. Very generous class with several beautiful paintings to tackle and achieve.

  2. Barbara Thompson (verified owner)

    I’m relatively new to painting in oils. Natasha’s instruction is patient and thorough. Mixing colors for cool and warm areas, application of paint in patterns, and seeing color shifts in perspective were all addressed in this class in 5 projects. Excellent class!

  3. traffickirkland (verified owner)

    New to oil painting (I use water soluble oil), this was the perfect class for me. Natasha is a color genius, but breaks it down patiently for the inexperienced, like me. Her initial exercises set you up for success. While other instructors offer 4-5 hours of lessons, Natasha offers 13+ here, as she takes you step by step to create your own masterpiece, leaving you with enough confidence to strike out on your own. Her other class offered on the site, is a fun dive into floral forms and equally helpful and fun. I’ll take any class Natasha is kind enough to teach.

  4. Melissa Elliott (verified owner)

    Such a kind, patient, and thorough approach to her subjects and why she paints them the way she does. The thing I valued most from the course was the exposition about how to make warm things cool when moving from light to shadow; the “magic carpet” exercise was particularly revealing, and so useful going forward when painting anything, not just still life! I anticipate returning multiple times to these lessons to remind me of all the information they contain.

  5. Lynn Murphy (verified owner)

    This class was such a surprise.It was so thorough and gave so much more information about color, tone that added to the projects. I learned so much that I can use in my painting practice. Natasha, is an excellent instructor and you will love the way she pronounces “pears”. Looking forward to taking another class with her.

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