Dark Autumn Landscapes

Dark Autumn Landscapes

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In 12 Season Personal Colour Analysis, the Dark Autumn Season holds those persons whose natural colouring is:

–  Dark. Richly, luxuriantly, glowingly dark. We are given robust red wines, lustrous deep olives, and ornately reddened browns and purples. This is the aspect of colours that is high, both in how dark colours become and the average over the entire palette or appearance.

Neutral to warm. In this context, Neutral means colours that have both some coolness (blueness) and some warmth (gold), as opposed to lower-case-n-neutral that can mean flesh-toned makeup or gray/taupe clothing. The wardrobe has the same warmth setting and flexibility with warmth.

Barely muted, though between the warmth and darkness, colours may appear intense. Balsamic vinegar, Turkish coffee, and oxblood evoke similar feelings.

The Darkness (Is Not Black)

Unlock this mystery of Autumn’s glowing warmth entwined with the coming Winter quiet. The dark colours have the luminosity and depth of oil paints in Renaissance masterpieces.

Colour may be settling with the approach of Winter cold but the octane level remains very high. Black can feel a bit leaden on those who do not contain it by Nature’s hand. Keep Dark Autumn darks penetrable and interesting. Choose the almost-black purples, blues, browns, and greens. In daylight, you should see colour. Almost black colours often look metallic, like that finish on cars, and it’s never the cheap cars

Black works when it’s warmed up, either in a bronzed black or worn with warm, rich colours. The midnight fire or glass of brandy contain some black, but surfaces are more influenced by red, orange, and green than blue-black.

Autumns are  engaged with the world. They’re sanding furniture, baking and sharing, attending charity functions, going to obedience class with their Bernese Mountain Dog, starting projects in time for Christmas, and showing up for a friend’s three wedding showers with a gift every time.

Dark Autumn can balance the weight of black so it’s not entirely random. Wear cooler or ink blacks in the lower half of outfits. Look for warmed blacks in stores, which will not be difficult to find.



The palette includes the darkest light colours of the 12 Seasons. Even they have a scorched quality. Colours appear slightly aged, in the way that paper can be sponged with tea or coffee to be antiqued. The lights are substantial colours that can drain out any other kind of skin, like the sturdy colours of grains, brown rice, quinoa, that overlay of brownness but not blackness.

The light colours are distinctly browned, like vinegars and preserves. Browned spiced peach, chamois, November grass, and dark willow. Winter’s blue is coming in, neutralizing Autumn gold to some extent. Think of the dried apple, peach, and fig, compared to the originals. Moroccan colours. Darker than Bollywood colours. Persian carpets, Aladdin colours.

The reds look browned, as bricks, russets, bittersweets. That almost burnt quality is important. Burnt oranges and reds make beautiful lip and blush colours.

Dark Autumn Ensembles



Combining Colours

Autumn has a steady rhythm. You can always hear the faraway sound of a drum. Autumn’s complexity exists in all three Autumns, so the combinations of their colours look wonderful (and in this, I include Soft Summer), a world of limitless possibility.

Layers and prints work well to give sense of pattern (as texture, complexity, and creativity, like the harvest display on the front porch), and depth, both of which have an inherent rhythmic progression.

For Dark Autumn, colours can feel like the wild horse. The untethered freedom, the rhythm of a pulse from colour to colour, the strong intention, the uncaring about reactions. All it takes is one scarf, one bronzed lipstick, one leopard print-backed glove, and the viewer just felt it in their chest (but couldn’t say exactly what they felt).

Autumn is good at reality. Once they see the system work, they move on. They tend not to be conflicted about what suits them and letting go of other colours and styles but they need to see it themselves.

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27 Thoughts on Dark Autumn Landscapes

  • Jeannie

    Thank you for the article!
    I love my colors. I do have trouble finding clothes in the shades…it sandwiches in between Natural (TA) clothes and Classic (DA) clothes…it has been hard to establish a style with them. It turns out I buy what I can find without worring about the style.
    Great imagry in the articlle..I almost want to learn to belly dance. hehe

  • Jeanine Byers Hoag @ Seasonal Color Analysis

    Holy smokes!! Sometimes I just read without commenting but on this one, I just couldn’t stay silent. Your writing is SO gorgeous and exquisite that I can only hope you have many more books within you. I could relate to a lot of that description, so my lean into deep might be farther over than I thought (but the almost-blacks make me look almost-black, and by that, I mean shades darker!). Great post!! Thanks, Christine!

  • Maja

    Christine, I love the idea of linking different dance styles to personality and colors by feelings. I learnt belly dance for 2 years (different styles), but resigned as it seemed to me either too controled or too dainty. Things I never considered myself to be. I like watching others doing them, though.
    Do you have more of ideas which moves would fit to winters? Or springs? Or summers? And what about soft autumn?

  • Nana

    Yay!! Thank you Christine!
    The horse analogy is just about right, my mom always said I was a bit like a wild young colt.. And as far as belly dancing goes, I love this girl:

    not exactly tribal, but very powerful..

  • Ali

    Beautifully written, Christine!

    Of course, we haven’t really figured out where I fit, or that I’m actually a dark autumn, but in reading this…I gotta admit the shoe fits. I think a lot of the people who work with me would agree. J

  • Margo

    Thank you very much, Christine! This article is amazing! I was waiting for it. I also can talk about this wonderful season for a long time because I believe I belong to this group.
    Probably I will have some questions later, but there is much so interesting information to think about before I ask.

  • Kathryn

    Loved this article! Especially the belly dance video. DW envy for sure here.

  • Loretta

    Wow, thanks Christine – I have been looking forward to this one !

  • Maja

    Christine,

    Doesnt this song fit to DA? Or is it more TA song?:

  • denise

    Wow, oh wow. What beautiful pictures. I can hardly wait for the clothes article!

    I’m wondering, is Revlon’s “Ravish Me Red” a Dark Autumn color? It’s listed as bright spring elsewhere, but looks DA to me.

    Thanks!

  • Diana Carlson

    I think that salted black liquorice works as a Winter candy.

  • inge

    More with a Dark Autumn-like feeling: elegant, and quite warm:

    • Christine Scaman

      Maja,
      That music is quite beautiful. It reminds me of Nana Mouskouri. I can easily see it as DA. I find it even has Wintery feelings about it, something faraway and a little haunting.

      Placido has such a strong presence. I used to listen to him all the time (my boyfriend of the day called him Flamingo Dominico). I was most amazed at the synchronies in the music you both chose. Each piece strikes that similar chord to strength, warmth, and an unknown, in equal parts.

  • Nicole

    Christine that was beautiful THANK YOU. Interesting choice on the music, and very appropriate. Rachel Brice, tribal dancer extraordinaire, is my favorite. I’m still trying to figure out all of my colors and put them together (some of these colors are incredibly hard to find) and I’m getting rid of 20+ years of wearing 90% black. I’m looking forward to the next installment. 🙂

  • Margo

    Christine,

    Do you know any famous DA with a green color of eyes beside Kristin Kreuk? How about Mila Kunis? Thank you!

    • Christine Scaman

      I don’t see her as dark enough. This photo, for instance, http://www.fanpop.com/spots/mila-kunis/images/4733257/title/mila-kunis-wallpaper

      Still, dark hazel green is very common for DA. I have never met a blue-eyed DA, but green is very common. They often look brown.

  • Margo

    Who knows similar lipsticks to YSL’s #41 Ultra Flame? Thank you!

  • Nicole

    P.S. speaking of DA songs, this has been one of my favorites for years. I love the juxtaposition of the ethereal woman’s voice and the darker male voice in the background. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcXlqchOFsw

  • Trisha

    Thank you Christine, I have been waiting for this one! So much of what you say about DA resonates. As a child dressed (by a Light Summer mother) in pale pastels I felt “wrong” – was told they didn’t suit because I was not pretty enough for them, with dark brown unruly, frizzy hair and olive/hazel eyes. Had a dress given to me by an aunt in browns, oranges and greens which I took to bed with me! Wasn’t allowed to wear it though, as mother thought the colours not suitable for a child. From my twenties onwards I dyed my hair darker (near black) and wore the colours of a Deep Winter – fuchcia lipstick! (as a CMB consultant advised) but always looked (as my husband said) uncomfortable and stiff and rather like a dug up body – washed of all colour. Having had some excellant advise by other consultants since then, have come to own the DA – they feel like me. I’ve come to recognise that my DA type of feminity is not so much pretty as cultured in a black americano sort of way, very deep and rich, not quite black as you say. I love that bit about being wild, which rings true, love walking and climbing, old leather walking boots, posh new Italian dark brown leather, the smell of spices, dried wrinkled leaves (I use them in my artwork). Even my cat is a semi wild Maine Coone, who grooms my hair with her paws and teeth (no I haven’t got anything unpleasant) the vet says she sees me as a sibling rather than human – which I am quite flattered by. Just off to buy that leopard print bag with dark brown leather trim I saw earlier in the week, your article has given me the final confidence I needed to go for it, many, many thanks.

  • Vincentine

    Thank you for this. It’s beautiful, like all of your writing, and it makes me feel so much at home with my season. The analyst who draped me told me that as an autumn I needed to wear lots of beige and aim for the colors of a pumpkin patch. I hate beige, and I was hoping for winter. It was a tough adjustment, but at least both my color book and your blog told me that DA isn’t about pumpkins and I altered my wardrobe from black and cool blue to brown and burgundy within a week of my draping. (Didn’t you say somewhere that DAs are ok-get-on-with-it people?) Over several months, I’ve come to love bricks and rusts and eggplants and olives, and have even developed an aversion to bright or pastel things. It’s a journey, and I still don’t own any neutral gray, taupe, or cream items as I can’t recognize them or even match the swatches (yet). That will come, I hope. And maybe I’ll take a belly dance class now…

  • Margo

    Christine, thank you for your answer regarding Mila Kunis. To be honest I do not know her correct season. She wears some winter colors and looks good. Her natural color of hair is dark, but she dyes her hair. The color of her eyes is green, but it is not hazel.
    I know that dark hazel green is common for DA. I do not have any problems to recognize a brown-eyed DA as well. The problem is olive/moss colors of eyes. Another problem is to understand how dark colors of hair and eyes should be to name a person as DA?
    I had my color analysis more than two years ago. I am a Contrasting Autumn. I cannot say I am too dark (medium ash brown hair), but I have lot’s of chroma. I cannot wear delicate autumn colors as SA and also I cannot wear too warm autumn colors as WA. Deep vibrant autumn colors suit me better. Sometimes I wear winter colors and I do not avoid black. Some people think I am a Winter but I am not.

  • PJ

    Thank you for these glorious DA articles. I RAN to the lipstick suggestions, and they are spot on perfect. Fifty years old, and I finally have found the colors that make me feel…oh, I’m going to say it…beautiful. Yes, the crinkles are here and I’m 20 pounds overweight, but I don’t run from the camera anymore. And when I look in the mirror now, I see the good parts of myself (inside and out). I told my husband last week that I feel like I’m meeting myself for the first time…and liking myself. I, too, was raised by a light season whose idea of pretty was blonde curls, blue eyes, pastels and being sweet. I never had a chance. I look back at old photos and realize that pretty was there all along..just misguided. Oh well. The next 50 years are going to be wonderful, and there are many people to thank for that. You are at the top of that list!

  • Ola

    This article almost made me cry. Thank you so much, Christine! It seems that I knew very little about this person called myself. There is so much to learn and uncover now.. Everything always felt either wrong or just ok for me. Wearing mostly Winters colours for many years I was drawn to those beautiful DA colours I kept noticing everywhere and on everyone. To me they were the most beautiful but seemingly unfit colours – I never gave them a chance till recently. Gosh, they feel so right, I can’t even explain.

    Christine, I have a question.. I really love rose gold on myself and I’m pretty sure I’m DA (slightly leaning towards DW, but a very few colours I can do from that palette) but I’ve never seen it in recommendations (not that it’s going to stop me from wearing) for DA. I think rose gold looks very harmonising with my skin tone which is slightly warm but pretty neutral overall. I can do gold but not too yellow. Copper alone is pretty bad, too. Mix them together and you get my perfect gold. What are your thoughts on rose gold for DA? Too gentle maybe?

  • Jana

    Hi Christine!
    Thanks for the wonderful article. I am a blue-eyed Dark Autumn! Medium brunette hair (I would say gray eyed, but Terry assures me they are bluer than I think…they have the winter petals, the summer spokes and the autumn ring.). Ask Terry about me, I was a bit of a pill to type! I was pretty sure I was a summer of some type before I was typed. I do look quite a bit like your first girl in the autumns children article, just never identified myself as warm as a ivory skinned rosy cheeked blue eyed brunette.

    • Christine Scaman

      T did talk to me about your most amazing analysis. We live these with each other vicariously 🙂 Simply fascinating. I’d LOVE to meet you in person (I will try not to stare at your colouring). Maybe one day, you could model for a course (though I have no idea where you live, but if it’s near, we should plan it; she and I are hoping to do several courses together).

  • Jana

    I live in the suburbs of Detroit, so halfway between you and Terry. Would love to meet you sometime too. Terry was so gracious. She did say if I turned out TA I was going to have to become a professional color model..lol.

  • Erin

    Another blue-eyed DA here! Redhead too (light copper, I guess I’d say). I was draped only a few days ago by Amanda in Wisconsin and am still taking it in. There’s a big bag of clothes to give away and I have a few things coming in the mail, but I already was leaning towards a lot of these colors so it’s a bit of a surprise but I’m not naked.
    Your writing is magnificent.
    I’m so glad I did this. Amanda spent five hours and was so helpful.

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