Peter Dotrel passed the entry exam for the Academy of Fine Arts at the young age of eighteen. There he visited the master class of Franz Elsner and the legendary nude painting class of Prof. Herbert Boeckl. The great talent of the young painter was acknowledged through numerous awards. In 1963 Dotrel received laudatory recognition of his artistic performance; in 1964 he was honored with the Silver Füger-medal, in 1965 with the student master class award and in 1967 with the departure award from the professorate. Franz Elsner’s oeuvre and his favored genres still life and portrait affected the early work of Peter Dotrel. He not only learned the technical refinements from Elsner, but was also inspired by his teacher’s dynamic gestic painting style and his positive light dramaturgy. The influence of Herbert Boeckl can also be observed in Dotrel’s works of the time, like the dark coloring and the pastose paint application in some still life paintings and portraits. During the late 1960s Dotrel created several abstract, mainly blue colored paintings, which probably derive from his involvement with Boeckls late work after 1945. These pictures already prepare Dotrel’s atmospheric abstract style of the 1970s.