BESPOKE tours to highlight the work of a Dundonald artist are to be carried out by museum staff in Fife.

Miner's son William McLaren is being celebrated by onFife who are offering the public the chance to get a glimpse of their collection work to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth.

The artist and illustrator road tested his lavish interior designs at the three-bedroom flat in Dundonald, where his family moved when McLaren was 16.

Adorning the walls of 29 Denfield Avenue with Italian Renaissance scenes gave the artist confidence to execute his work on a far grander scale.

Born in Ferniegair, Lanarkshire, McLaren moved to Dundonald aged four and later attended Beath High School before studying at Edinburgh College of Art.

He went on to earn a living as a commercial illustrator, working for magazines including the Radio Times, The Listener and illustrated weekly newspaper, The Sphere.

McLaren became a prolific book illustrator too, designing dust jackets for more than 150 titles – among them works by Enid Blyton and Jules Verne.

McLaren's social circle widened when he moved to Edinburgh in 1963, and he was soon commissioned by Lord Linlithgow to create a series of paintings for the staircase at Hopetoun House.

It was a breakthrough that led to a number of decorative commissions in private houses and public buildings where he developed his trompe l'oeil – deceiving the eye – style.

Subsequent commissions included murals at Wemyss Castle in Fife; Hawthornden Castle in Midlothian; and East Lothian’s grandest residence, Tyninghame House.

McLaren also completed a magnificent Renaissance-style mural at St Adrian's Church, West Wemyss, and the ceiling mural of the King’s Theatre in Edinburgh.

OnFife is offering McLaren-themed tours of its Collections Centre in Glenrothes on September 27 – the 100th anniversary of the artist’s birth.

Visitors can enjoy his paintings, drawings and book illustrations, and access the artist’s school records from the charity’s archives collection.

Paintings and drawings by McLaren will also go on show at Kirkcaldy Galleries in October.

OnFife archivist Andrew Dowsey – who is leading the tours – said: “William McLaren never became a household name, possibly because his work – which reflected his love of previous eras – was out of step with popular taste.

“Yet, by the time of his death in 1987, he had produced a diverse array of high quality work that still enchants many people today.”

Pupils from Beath High School and Cardenden’s three primary schools are taking part in art competition to mark William McLaren's centenary. The winning entries will be exhibited in Kirkcaldy Galleries next month.

Cardenden History Group is also staging an exhibition at Auchterderran Church Hall on September 27 and 28 from midday to 4pm.

Tours at the Collections Centre start at 10.30am and 2pm. To a book place, email