Nicolai Fechin is one of those who's work I study and greatly admire. His technique, while I do not paint like this myself, his technique is masterful, and deeply speaks to me. He is one of those great masters of all time and not as well known as lets say, the name VanGogh or Monet. Fechin was born in Russia, moved to New York in the 1920' and then due to health issues later to New Mexico.
I often study his paintings and glean basics of technique and his use of color and use of palette knife and while I don't try to paint like him I am sure what I see in his work has greatly influenced me.
I have many books of my favorite French Impressionists like Cezanne or Monet and of course VanGogh, who wasn't french but painted from Arles for many years. These books have full page photos and even detail images of these artists work and have helped me tremendously to understand some of their techniques. This and visits to museums have pushed me on to develop my own technique.
When I began to paint in oil. having read something about what Fechin did to reduce the oil content in paint, I immediately started to do this myself.
It is an important part of what I do now, using a piece of cardboard and squeezing out paint hours if not a day before I begin to paint. This absorbs a lot of the oil and makes my paint much thicker and better to work with for my style of heavy impasto.
Excerpt from http://keenewilson.com/page/3226/nicolai-fechins-painting-technique
Fechin Reduced Oil Content
He would place pigment on an absorbent surface to remove much of its oil content. While the oil content was being reduced, he would block in the basic values in casein tempera, using a brilliant white, gesso-type porous ground. He often remarked that it was a shame to spoil such a beautiful surface. The ground was first prepared with cottage cheese, rabbit’s skin glue, or other ingredients, and then with Merck casein ground. This further absorbed oil so the end result had a true matte finish. After the ground and the casein had set sufficiently, he would apply oil colors."