At first glance, these images look like photos of glaciers and icebergs afloat on tranquil and frigid seas. The truth behind these realistic artworks is somewhat more interesting, however – they’re enormous soft pastel finger drawings by U.S. artist Zaria Forman.

Forman’s unique artworks (which we wrote about before here) often span an entire wall. She employs an unusual drawing technique – using only her palms and fingers she smudges the pastel colors into the paper.

She is an environmentally conscious artist, so many of her realistic drawings, whether depicting glaciers, bodies of water or storm fronts, focus on the problems we face in terms of water conservation, melting polar ice, and rising sea levels.

Forman agreed to answer some of Bored Panda’s questions about her beautiful drawings, so read on for more info!

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I have been drawing since I was a child, and using my palms and fingers to move the material on the paper always made sense to me. I have always preferred soft pastels over the myriad materials I have experimented with,” Zaria Forman told Bored Panda.

The process of drawing is stripped down and straight-forward; cut the paper, make the marks. A minimalistic approach is required as there isn’t much room for error or re-working since the paper tooth can hold only a few thin layers of pigment. I enjoy this challenge, and simplicity

Since I was a child, I have always been interested in conveying what my eyes see. Photorealism is actually not my goal, I simply want to depict the landscape as honestly as I can, in a way that allows viewers to feel transported to a remote place they might never get the chance to see

Artists play a critical role in communicating climate change, which I believe is the most important challenge we face as a global community

I have dedicated my career to translating and illuminating scientists’ warnings and statistics into an accessible medium that the general public can connect with, on a level that is perhaps deeper than scientific facts can penetrate

I choose to convey the beauty, as opposed to the devastation, of threatened places. If people can experience the sublimity of these landscapes, perhaps they will be inspired to protect and preserve them

We’d like to thank Zaria Forman for talking to Bored Panda about her work and for working with such an important goal in mind. Keep it up!