As you might be able to see the set of instructions in the middle are far more detailed than I am usually dealing with in a scroll assignment. The size of the illumination was very specific, the paper needed to be 11" x 8.5" and the illumination would be 10" x 7.5". There were also restrictions on metallic leaf and inks (they don't photograph or scan well, and certain pigments don't reproduce well with four color printing. Ultramarine, one of my standbys for my blues would present a challenge. Also certain yellows and oranges were difficult and would scan brown. That meant that I needed to do more test sheets with a different palette than I might have normally chosen.
"The shark is the laziest of fish, but is fierce when roused. When hunting, it swims in a circle which it draws tight around its prey. If its victim remains still, the shark will often lose interest and swim on. It is the foe of the lava otter, for they are too much alike to live in peace. It is found throughout the world, but schools most heavily along the eastern shores."
I ended up really enjoying the research and it gave me a better idea of what I wanted it to look like overall and what the medieval person was thinking of when they thought of Shark/Whale/Sea Monster.
I give you the research. Many were found on www.strangescience.com under its gallery on sea monsters.
At this point, it was handed off to Eleanor to work her magic on the calligraphy.