I've been trying to climb out of a little drawing rut I've been in lately and convinced myself to go to Sketch Night at the NY Society of Illustrators this evening. I was talking to a writer friend of mine afterwards and she commiserated with me on the need to shake things up a bit every now and then. Drawing from the imagination is not the same as drawing from life and writing book reviews is not the same as writing a short story. But the critical thinking needed to write a book review can help inform a work of fiction, the same way drawing a real person can help you better depict one who is wholly invented.
I am not saying that one night of drawing the figure repaired things for me entirely, but it was refreshing to use a different part of the brain again-- the one that observes rather than the one that imagines. Both are so crucial in this line of work, but it is easy to forgo one for the other, leaving that neglected part of the brain to dry up a little. So here is a single drawing out of only three or four I did tonight that may or may not represent a light at the end of the tunnel.
PS: Sometimes the best models are the ones who aren't posing.