Okay; so some experiments work and other don't - it's all part of the process, and instead of being bummed out (I'm a little bummed out), I should remember that I actually enjoy the experimenting, even the things that don't work out as they lead me towards things that do.
I went shopping for some red printing ink this week for the background of the stag print I'm working on. I got home with my purchases and realised I hadn't gotten any red ink. Bugger. So I went and got some yesterday because I knew I'd need it this morning.
The nice lady in the shop - who shall now be known as the Nice Lady In The Shop Who Wasn't Entirely Right - told me that yes, I could lino print with acrylic paint. And she was right: yes, I can. Just not all that well. The red isn't all that saturated and it sticks a bit to the paper when I pull back the print block, so not quite what I wanted. It's given me a nice texture, but I'll be ordering some red printing ink very soon!
I think the background pattern works... I'll have to have another look at it with fresh eyes later on! The plan now is to let the prints I've done dry properly (the stags were still a bit wet this morning, even with over 12 hours of drying time on them), get some red ink and then try again! I already have some gold printing ink on its way as the gold acrylic I thought I'd try didn't really do the job either.
(In case you're wondering, I masked off the stag's head with tracing paper and then did the background print over the top.)