What is the magic of black & white and high contrast? The lack of color takes away part of the usual distractions to see form, something which you learn when you start drawing. In drawing, you really have to see the shadows (rather than see the light) and how it creates form. Recognize that and your drawings will be more real.
As for high contrast, perhaps it makes up for the lack of contrast that most screens have, compared to the large dynamic range that your eyes see when you look out into the real world.
This one was shot with a single light, in front of a light gray background, with a Sigma 85mm f/1.4 lens.