I can't talk about the use of shape and flowing lines without mentioning the work of artists such as Shane Glines and Bill Pressing. They both have a retro pin up style, which focuses on the shapely figures, curves, lines and proportion and exaggerates them to draw more attention to the bust and waist through thinning the stomach, neck and legs. When the likes of Bettie Page started bringing more wide spread popularity to the art of striptease/burlesque shows (like how Dita Von Teese has revamped it again in the last 10 years), the attention isnt directed towards genitalia/crude nudity associated with porn but their sexuality and curves to tease/suggest ideas of the erotic, with their bodies covered/hidden you are left to imagine what lies beneath rather than baring all and removing all mysetery.
The female form has been idolised for many years, from fertility statues and carvings to masters like Picasso representing it in many different ways but all exaggerate the bust and hips which are seen as the symbols of the female form and thus universally understood/interpreted. In the same way, Glines and Pressing are taking the female form and presenting us with "ideal" representations of women with features that most appeal (to 'us' as men ;) hahah). The shapes used to create these pin up characters again exaggerate and bring attention to body and create the personality of a sultry/sexy heroine/villainess of the 40's and 50's (much like Jessica Rabbit from 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit'). Suddenly facial features and details become unnecessary as all the character has already been made through the pose and proportion of the figure. Life Drawing helped me realise this fact, but I still find myself wanting draw the body accurately yet failing to do so as I dont have the patience to practice it repeatedly, instead I found contour drawing removed any over thinking on my behalf and in the end I created something that was much more appealing and interesting than when I try concentrating....
Sticking with the pin-up theme, I also found Andrew Bawidamann's pin-ups interesting as although they aren't as heavily stylised and exaggerated they still hold the same sexy vibe and tease qualities but brought up to date through what looks to be Illustrator. He also uses WWII themes for his mascot like illustrations which too is an interest of mine and also based on the era of the pin-ups initial popularity.