Design an Alabama Postage Stamp – Wiregrass Museum of Art

Design an Alabama Postage Stamp


This lesson will focus on Alabama's symbols as student's design their own state stamp.
Image Credit: Chris Hartsfield, Half-Full, 1991, Watercolor, 1993.3

Essential Question

What symbols can be found for the state of Alabama that can be used in my own postage stamp design?

Student Learning Objectives

Students Will:
  • Learn about the state of Alabama
  • Identify the symbols of Alabama
  • Design my unique postage stamp


Discussion Prompts

  1. What is this a painting of?
  2. Do you live in Dothan, AL? Fill in the blank: Dothan, AL is the ________ Capitol of the World!
  3. Can you name any state symbols off the top of your head?

About the Artist

Chris Hartsfield is a self-trained watercolorist who works primarily with bright, clean colors to achieve a realistic style of painting. His technique produces a complicated yet detailed scene which reveals an understanding of depth and realism. He enjoys painting a variety of subjects, including still life, landscape, street scenes, and nautical scenes. His compositions are well balanced and flowing, keeping the observer’s eye engaged.

His realistic paintings utilize flat planes of color layered rather loosely to produce a sense of realism.

Since Hartsfield began his art career in 1988, he has had paintings accepted in national and regional watercolor competitions. Including The American Watercolor Society, The National Watercolor Society, Arts For The Parks, Georgia, Kentucky, and Oklahoma Watercolor Society shows. He has won numerous “Best of Show” and other awards in over 500 juried art shows. His paintings are bought by both private and corporate collectors.

Half-Full pays homage to a crop which is very familiar to Wiregrass residents – peanuts!

Below is a comprehensive list of Alabama state symbols, click on the images below for more information about each symbol.


9" x 12" white paper, pencil, eraser, ruler, colored pencils or any colorful medium



On a while piece of paper draw a 1 inch border around the edge. Within this border draw half-circles mimicking the edges of a postage stamp. Once the edge is drawn, cut out the half-circles.


Study the look of a stamp. What words can be found on a stamp? What numbers? Determine what price your stamp should be and what words should be on it, i.e. Alabama, State of Alabama, Alabama State Symbols, etc.


Inside the large rectangle with a scalloped edge, students will choose at least 3 state symbols to draw alongside their chosen words and stamp price. Their drawing can overlap or exist in different corners of the paper. Encourage your students to draw light until they have it right! Erasing dark pencil lines does not always work.


Once students have the drawing of their stamp completed, they can now start coloring. It is encouraged to have color everywhere on the stamp except for the scalloped edge.

Finished Alabama state stamp



Review This Lesson Plan

This program has been made possible through grants from the Southeast Alabama Community Foundation, and the Support the Arts License Tag Fund.

Youth Art Education Policy

Outside of tours, family days, and open house events, individuals who are not enrolled in a class are not allowed in WMA classrooms except by written permission of the Executive Director. Parents may not join children in the classroom during instruction times in order to ensure an atmosphere conductive to creativity. It is important to limit the number of adults to keep the focus on the kids, their learning, and to accommodate limited seating in the studio. Parents are welcome to stay in the museum during class but must remain outside of the classroom during instruction time.

Museum educators are experienced in creating positive learning environments for all ages and are required to go through a background check to ensure the safety of our students. Parents and guardians are encouraged to visit the studio at the end of class to see what their child has created. All docents and volunteers working with children are also required to go through background checks.

Thank you for understanding our policy and priority on the safety and well-being of participating students.

Refund Policy

The Wiregrass Museum of Art may cancel any class with insufficient enrollment; students will be notified and given a full refund. If a student withdraws at least 1 week before the class begins, he/she will be refunded for the full cost of the class. If a student withdraws 24 hours before the class begins, he/she will be refunded for half the cost of the class. There are no refunds after the start date of class, and membership fees are nonrefundable. Students are not enrolled until complete payment is received.

Terms and Conditions

The Wiregrass Museum of Art reserves the right to photograph and reproduce chosen works publication, publicity, and educational purposes. Participation in this exhibition shall be an agreement on the part of the artist to these conditions. The museum reserves the right to exclude works submitted without appropriate preparation (documentation, mounting hardware, suitable frame/mat, etc.), or which are damaged or incomplete. The museum is not responsible for the safekeeping of any works left in its care ninety (90) days after the close of the exhibition.

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Mask Policy

WMA asks that all campers ages 5 and up wear a mask during their museum visit, including classes and camps. If you don’t have a mask, we can provide one for you. Exceptions can be made for those with documented respiratory or sensory issues. We thank you for protecting your fellow visitors and our staff!

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