I know you want to be right about that 3d stuff and that's how you would do it, but I'm afraid you couldn't be further from the truth and you haven't done even a 2 minute research before posting. FFS man, his DA has gallery section named 'tutorials'.
I'm posting this for benefit of everyone who would buy into your explanation thinking you know what you're talking about.
This is what digital painting looks like when you put autistic levels of precision to construction and rendering. Becoming biological raytracing engine is obviously a skill that can be trained and one has to to get anywhere near these results. These works aren't that appealing to me, but are still a testament of what one can do if one isn't a crab.