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Dark Winter Landscapes

Dark Winter Landscapes

access_time 2015/02/6 account_circle chat_bubble_outline 25 Comments
The days might be gettin’ longer but the snow’s a’gettin higher. Updating you on the ongoing saga of the recliners on the lawn:


My world looks like the surface of the next planet out. A good time to write about Winter.


Fair Warning

Not one word on this website, about personality or anything else, applies to every member of any group. Not even half, and character least of all.

As we know, I have tremendous respect for Bernice Kentner, founder of Color Me a Season. Back in the 80s, this is the person who I think had colour analysis well figured out, given the colour technology of the age. In her writing, she has apologized for sounding hard on Autumn personalities. Allow me to channel a hero and apologize for how I portray Winter.

Photo: Krappweis

Photo: Krappweis

Dark Season does not mean dark everything. 

A Winter Overview

Let me tell you something about us Winters: We are more fragile than we look. Everyone else is as fragile as they look, or less.

The strategy that I learned from Summers about managing Winters and coming through intact: Let’em win. They calm right down.


Photo: nazreth

Photo: nazreth

Some beautiful neutral colours in this image.


Photo: Rapunzel55

Photo: Rapunzel55

Warmth is important in any cool-neutral Season. The image loses power if the beak is lemon or ice yellow. The greener yellow eyes and redder orange beak are fascinating.

Winter is said to be analytic because that’s how it comes out of their mouth. Where it begins is usually more intuitive. They are internally guided. As dissecting as they can be, this person often runs on instinct, which is why they don’t believe anybody as much as themselves. Their gut tells them not to.

They can be self-important, preferring a moment in the spotlight to discretion or the annoying distraction of what it feels like to be the other guy. Consequences? Who cares? Whether their behaviour causes others to get along with them, to go away, push back in exhaustion, or push back in anger, it doesn’t really matter. Take your pick. Flip a coin.

Summers are motivated to make the world better and facilitate interactions. They will listen and adapt in as many gray zones as it takes, if it means peace.

Critique a Winter. Watch the sound and lights. The world is Right and Wrong. Good and Evil. They attack because they feel they’ve been attacked.

Summer is usually calming to be around. They can be highly sensitive, even prickly, but in their behaviour, they stay near their emotional baseline. Spring will follow negativity with a joke. Autumn is biking or baking and you seldom feel a need to protect yourself, unless you got served the truth. A funny Autumn story I hear often is how surprised to hear that others see them as assertive.


Photo: FurLined

Photo: FurLined

When one thing means everything, you have entered the Winter realm. One colour. One shape. One reaction. One emotion. This is One Tree, not One Ferris Wheel.


Photo: ingras

Photo: ingras

Warmer and busier. More Autumn. The repetitive element of marching along and visual near/far feels like Autumn energy to me. The solid vertical lines feel like Winter, my association only. 

Structured around a reader’s Q&A to keep me on track:

How does a Dark Winter energy differ from a Dark Autumn?

Autumn is more relaxing to be with, less absolute. Like Doberman dogs, they are smart, sensible, and calm. Armed, yes, dangerous, yes, and willing to deploy, but only with fair provocation. As the Seasons add red (Winter), the oppositions become more extreme. Red signifies both love and rage, bleeding and healing.


Photo: rolve

Photo: rolve


Bonus tip for Getting Along With Winter: Flatter them. Winter is a proud entity. Start every conversation in this way. It will be heard as respect. They will be on your side from the start. The outcome will bias in your favour. Others will wonder how you did it.


How does Dark Winter differ from what applies to every Winter?

Every Neutral Season is a mix of seemingly impossible opposites. The Light Seasons combine the energetic forward movement of Spring (yellow) with the introspective, receding contemplation of Summer (blue). Light Summer is in the world to share the rainbow of life in its most delicate earthly form. Light Spring somehow elevates this to a place of transcendence, as the feeling moves skyward.

Dark Winter is a mixture of earth and candy, of history and the future, Autumn and Winter, respectively. Dark Winter may intensify Autumn’s productivity gene or Winter’s perfectionism. She is getting it done, whatever it takes, or won’t take up running because she can’t run the marathon. Some are more caught up in their looks than others but when there’s a job they want done, it moves up to #1, never mind about the lipstick.


How would you feel in the presence of a Dark Winter? 

Me myself? Kind of like when people from the same town meet in faraway airports. There’s recognition for sure. I get where their head is, what is likely to motivate them, and what I don’t have to pretend to be. The conversation starts up as between people who have met a few times.

How do others feel in the presence of Dark Winter? I couldn’t say 🙂

Imposing sometimes. A woman I know, E, is around 65. Swirling, thick, shoulder-length, iron gray hair pinned back, striking facial geometry, cherry wine lips, and the most refined character. Even silent, she might as well be the only person in the room, so magnetic is her personal power. Hand her a scepter, balance a big crown on her head, and the picture is ready to take.

Easy and undemanding at times. Another woman I love, L. An optimistic Winter, she doesn’t think of every reason why something won’t work. She loves to laugh, is socially relaxed, and is not married to a Winter.

Kindness personified in some people. M. is a Winter who acts like a Summer. Her soul radiates faith, love, patience, and empathy.


Are there certain facial features unique to, or commonly seen in Dark Winters?

No, facial features are variable in shape in all Seasons.


Does Dark Winter come at the beginning of the winter season or the end?

At the beginning. It is the transition from Autumn. Seasons don’t flow from Winter to Autumn in Nature.

If we detach the symbolic associations, which I can hardly deny are strong for me,  the illumination of objects by light and the portion of colour space occupied by Dark Winter are continuums that flow in both directions.

Colour is simply a relationship. No, colour is a wavelength. Our perception of the wavelength is via relationships. Our perception of anything visual is simply a relationship called contrast. Humans do not see white writing on white backgrounds.


What is Dark Winter’s gift? What is it here to contribute to the world?

Focus. Once she locks on to a target, spacetime folds a little tighter.

A Soft Autumn can have a strength of purpose that beats anybody. What Dark Winter tends to have more is the ability to exclude everything else from her radar. It’s like asking any member of the staff at Sephora to match a lipstick colour for you. Off they go, like heat-seeking missiles, till they have it. Don’t interrupt them while they search. Their aim is not to nurture, it is to achieve.


Is a Dark Winter just darkness personified or is that darkness a safe place to nurture and bring forth the light within others, within the self and from within the earth?

Wow, now that’s my kind of question.

Defining what darkness is in the first place is not so easy. Media, folklore, and even art, have attached all sorts of myths to darkness, as has the history of PCA. Children instinctively seem to make the bad guy dark, or is that learned?

All that the Dark Seasons do at the end of the day is make darkness visually normal, appearing as it really is, not blacker or duller. The associations that made darkness into something more fall away. Darkness is just darkness, a normal variant of pigment on this planet, of light and life on Earth.

Small shifts towards darkness are absorbed, not amplified, with no particular upper limit. The reverse is true of the Light Seasons, where small shifts towards darkness are magnified into something that needs managing. With a Soft, small shifts towards higher saturation looks bigger than they would on anybody else, which is why their muted colour can appear so full of life and energy on them. With a True cool colouring, the smallest movement towards more heat and they appear totally altered, distorted, and slightly insane. True cool colouring deals with warmth differently.


What kind of clothing does a Dark Winter tend to favor? I know there could be any variety of archetypes within the season, but for instance, you mentioned that True Autumns prefer simple, practical clothing so they can focus on what needs to be done. Is there a similar generality about Dark Winters?

Simplicity is true of many Winters. They hate to be wrong with a capital H. Since they can be sure of black, it becomes the uniform.

If she is not aware of her innate shapes and lines, Dark Winter is no different from anyone else. Her clothing choices will be influenced by what is in her life.


What kind of flower, bird, animal, tree has Dark Winter energy?

The eagle or hawk. Locked on to a target.

The wolf. The panther. Is there such a thing as a friendly Grim? From my veterinary days, people are far more afraid of black dogs than any other, even taking precedence over breed (except perhaps Newfoundland dogs that are judged by all to be much more friendly than they necessarily are). The mythology of black.

A Christmas tree. An evergreen, nighttime, jeweled ornaments, a resinous scent.


25 Thoughts on Dark Winter Landscapes

  • "; ?> LauraH

    Can’t wait for a similar post about Bright Spring, you offer so many ideas to think about.

  • "; ?> KellyF

    I love this post. I think that the Dark Winter characterization is spot on. Of course, I am a DW veterinarian and we probably agree on many things!

  • "; ?> Katie

    Tango. Sharp, determined, passionate.

  • "; ?> Melissa

    Fascinating post! Thank you for answering my questions. Between the time I persuaded you to write about the DW landscape and now, I’ve realized I’m better in SSu. But, this will be very helpful, I’m sure, to DW’s and those who are in relationships with DW’s.

  • "; ?> Melina

    Great post – after reading this, I have no doubts whatsoever that I’m a Winter 😉 Probably not Dark Winter though (as DW lipsticks make me look goth. Not sure how anyone can really look natural with those lipsticks, though…)

    I do hope more people knew about these seasonal characteristics, then they might not have so much issues with us Winter personalities…

  • "; ?> Daenerys

    Do you think corvids are Winter? The crow and the raven Darks, the magpie a Bright Winter perhaps?

  • "; ?> Kat

    Enjoyed reading this. Do you see any correlation between mbti types? Interested in your comments about lights – do you find they can tend to be creative/imaginative types?

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      Kelly F – happy to meet a fellow DW veterinarian 🙂

      Katie – sharp and determined, both yes. Passionate, yes but I had to think about that one for a minute, but yes once they are onto ‘their’ topic. Determination seems like the very first thing Autumn brings in, Soft Summers are the same. Also the need to express truth as they perceive it.

      Daenerys – those remind me of the Tango as a dance. These might resonate strongly for other Dark Winters, but not inside me. Why not the birds…they lack something that eagles have…the larger scale? nobility? the facial expression? solitary lifestyle?something along those lines. Fun to think about though!

      Kat – I have not looked for the MBTI correlations in any organized way. When I look at images of people in each group, as with Enneagrams, they seem quite scattered. I would not find the Lights to be more creative than analytical, the difference seems to be elsewhere. Also, a LSu is often quite different from a LSp, but these things are hard to put into words. LSp can look like they could float but are often fairly straight and direct in their delivery, while LSu is often a more quietly agreeable individual.I can write more deeply about W because I know what it feels like to be one and to live with several.

  • "; ?> Kat

    Thanks, interesting to hear your thoughts.

  • "; ?> E

    “Among my more exciting emails are the ones that tear me to shreds, sent by a woman insisting that she is a Summer. It would be rare as a hornless unicorn for a Summer to ever send such a letter. ”

    Ok, this is driving me nuts. Google “no true Scotsman fallacy”. You’re saying a woman you’ve never seen, who may have been draped a summer, is a winter because, according to you, a summer would never send such an email? How illogical!

    I won’t say I’m a summer. I haven’t been draped. I will say that the personality you’ve described here fits me to a T – my mom or husband could have written it – and winter colors make me look like a corpse. These personality & color associations are really starting to bug me.

    (edited, please delete the previous one)

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      Well, you know, E, I tried to go to lengths to emphasize that the “You’re saying a woman…” you quoted is not at all what I am saying! Previous deleted as requested, happy to adjust if not done as you intended 🙂

  • "; ?> E

    Perhaps I misunderstood you. How did you mean the passage I quoted?

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      It was the ‘illogical’ and ‘bug me’ parts. I am agreeing with you! It is illogical to link character to Season. It bugs me too when people (especially colour analysts making Season decisions) make assumptions about Season based on personality or the nature of an email. So why do I publish these articles??? Because it’s fun and people ask. We all have to resist taking this sort of content seriously, maybe me most of all 🙂

  • "; ?> Julia

    Thank you for the amazing article. I wish I had read it 20 years ago! Someone mentioned the tango as a potential dark winter dance… Well, speaking as a dark winter who took tango lessons last year – DISASTER. What, you expect me to be the submissive one??!!

  • "; ?> Missy

    Love the content of the post…..don’t love the use of profanity. You’re such a gifted communicator; there are plenty of other ways to make your points that would be just as true but less offensive.

  • "; ?> Jennifer Sage

    Did you every hear the saying “Do unto others before they do unto you” Does this saying resonate with Dark Winters?
    Lovely piece of writing Christine…..powerful and vulnerable at the same time.

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      :), reminds me of the old police show, Hill St. Blues. Every AM, the top guy closed the meeting with, “Let’s get out there and do it to them before they do it to us”. But actually, it doesn’t click on any lights for me though. Winter is not pro-actively out to even the score. They’re too busy thinking about themselves (or their job) in the moment, not focussed on seeing the bad stuff coming. DW can have worst-case-scenario tendencies but not directed at other people, I don’t think.

  • "; ?> Emma

    I am SO HAPPY I found you. This blog is the best thing ever. Seriously. This makes perfect sense to me and I love your writing. So happy I found this!!!

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      Hi, Emma,
      Thank you for your kind words. You know that you have many fine analysts who practice the same system that I do located in AU, right? Look at truecolouraustralia.com.au for information. Once you know your Season, then you know what part of this site applies to you 🙂

  • "; ?> Emma

    Hi Christine,

    Thanks for the link – I went to Kylie Boyd in Melbourne and she was excellent, she spent a lot of time with me until we were both certain of my season and I am a Dark Winter. I’m so happy to finally know and to have my palette. I was a little shocked as I thought I was Autumn because I have olive skin and dark brown hair. I have been living in browns and mustard, orange reds etc. UGH. The difference in my complexion and face when Kylie draped the Dark Winter drapes on me was absolutely STARTLING. I can’t believe how much money I have wasted on cosmetics that don’t suit me. I spent so much money at the start of the year on Bobby Brown lipsticks and Guerlain Bronzer that I now realise do not suit me AT ALL. So happy to have done this. I feel like a new person with this insight and it is going to make such a difference in my life, I can feel it.

  • "; ?> Liz

    Julia – yes… ! I always take the lead in dancing. Sigh. It’s not even conscious. Maybe a solitary sensual flamenco dance would be easier. It’s certainly what my inner passion looks like. Very intense.

    Christine – A fun read. 🙂 As for winter children, as a child when I was allowed to dress myself, I did dress largely in black. A family video also shows me trading in a colored headband for a black shiny one to match my black turtleneck, with my mum going, “oh yes, black” and me smiling regally. Me thinking of it now, how semi-precocious that must have been, to have a young child choose to wear black all the time. But it looked so natural.

  • "; ?> Caressa

    Oh how I wish I could fit a draping into my budget right now. I think I’ve read every post on your site about 25 times, desperately trying to sort which season I might be. What you write about Winter personalities resonates so deeply with me, but TW’s colors are too cool and BW’s too bright. Have you ever draped a DW who didn’t have apparent darkness? As a pre- teen I was told I am an Autumn, because of my coppery hair, but I’ve always eschewed golds, oranges, & browns in favor of rich emerald, eggplant, and deep velvety black. Leather and studs, white gold and garnet, that’s me. Some day I’ll be able to visit a SciArt analyst and know for sure where I belong (my hubby wants to be draped now too). Until then, I’ll keep reading and experimenting; it’s so fascinating to me!

  • "; ?> Caressa

    Just a follow up to my previous comment…After reading one of your posts where you talk about the color variance among True Winters, I decided to revisit that season. I realized that when I was trying TW colors, I was most often either wearing cool toned lip/eye makeup with a muted or warmed blouse. Or wearing a TW colored blouse with Spring lipstick or Autumn eyeshadow. So this week I weeded out the warmth from my cosmetic bag, traded the bronzer for blush, the pinky peach lipcolor for crimson. Add a TW blouse & suddenly even without cosmetics my lips look pink instead of bloodless, the white blonde eyebrows that seemed invisible & alien now act as icy frames to eyes that glitter like jewels. Maybe I’m not actually TW, won’t know without a draping, but I’d like to live in this space for a while…

  • "; ?> Sophie


    You’re analysis of the personality of a DW (which I am) describes me better than any close friend (or shrink) ever has!! How interesting that PCA can relate to personality so well! You have such incredible insights into human nature – perhaps because you are also a DW. I love reading your work; kudos to you and this post. One question – does your analysis of a DW personality pertain to male winters as well? It would explain a lot as far as a certain someone I know (who I believe to be a winter) is concerned. Would love to hear your opinion.

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      To some extent, yes, Sophie, I find there are traits that run loosely through many Seasons. As with appearance, there are also two or three ways in which appearance or character often manifest.

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